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Ledford retires as 911 director, committee appoints interim

Patsy Ledford waves goodbye as she retires after 23 years of work with Unicoi County. Ledford was presented a plaque last Friday during a reception in her honor. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keith Whitson)
Patsy Ledford waves goodbye as she retires after 23 years of work with Unicoi County. Ledford was presented a plaque last Friday during a reception in her honor. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keith Whitson)

By Curtis Carden

The Unicoi County 911 committee addressed the vacancy created by 911 Director Patsy Ledford’s retirement during a regularly scheduled meeting held Wednesday, June 1, at the Unicoi County Courthouse.

Ledford retired from her position on Friday, June 3, after 23 years of work inside the county.

“I’ve done my job and worked my butt off over the years,” Ledford said during the meeting. “I’ve loved every minute of it. 911 has been my baby, but it’s time to be with my family.”

The personnel committee branch of the emergency services group, spearheaded by Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson, discussed the process of selecting an interim during the meeting.

Tilson stated that the committee is working with a June 17 deadline to receive applications for the position and that five resumes have already been submitted. A pair of individuals have also requested information about the director spot.

“We could expect around 12 applications, if not more, by the deadline,” Tilson said. “We’ve had individuals express interest from Sevier County, Greene County, Washington County, Carter County and internally.”

Applicants will be interviewed by the emergency services’ personnel committee in the coming weeks. The committee is hoping to have a director in place by July 1, but until then, Tilson told members that it would be in the best interest of the committee to appoint an interim director, from the committee, until a new director is in place to assist with day-to-day activities.

After a brief discussion, the floor opened for suggestions on an interim director with Tilson nominating Robert Adams, with the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department, due to his dispatching knowledge and work with the board.

Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch agreed with Tilson’s nomination and closed the floor for any other nominations. The committee voted unanimously on the nomination, with Erwin City Recorder Glenn Rosenoff, a Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department representative and Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch not in attendance. Ledford left the meeting before the vote for Adams.

“Robert has been a great help for me,” Bill Hensley, chairman of the 911 committee, said. “I know he’ll do a great job, along with the employees.”

Adams will be the interim director for 30 days, effective from the meeting date, and work alongside 911’s three supervisors as the transition is underway.

“I appreciate your confidence in me,” Adams said.

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In other business, the board decided to take a wait-and-see approach following their previous recommendation of putting a guardrail at the roadway that runs along the 911 and UCSD offices on Jackson Love Highway.